Monday, 8 December 2014

Yummy dip for Beetroot lovers!

It has been a while since I started my own personal Instagram account where I like to post yummy and simple foods among other mundane things that catch my eye.
 Here is my super yummy beetroot dip!! experiment made in...10 minutes aprox:


Beetroot and tahini dip

















Ingredients:

1 big cooked beetroot
3tablespoons of tahini
1/2 lemon juice
pinch of salt

All in a blender and finish with parsley herb .
Nachos are Mexican tortillas simply toasted until crunchy and hard. Not fried!


Nutritional benefits of eating Beetroot? plenty!

  • Beets are super antioxidants! They get their beautiful pink-red color primarily from a unique antioxidant pigments called betalain (we are more used to seeing the orange carotenoids)
  • Beets are an excellent anti inflammatory!
  • Beets help detox the body from toxins!


The nachos are simply the plain fajitas heated in the pan until they get toasted and crunchy.


I personally love the simplicity of a picture of some finished recipe, as it really reflects the concept behind balanced diet. No fuss in the ingredients. I would never personally spend more than 30 minutes preparing my lunch or dinner and these pictures show you how a simple way of cooking is always delicious, affordable, fast and convenient.


Sunday, 7 December 2014

Persimmon part 2: Nutrition for your skin , get ready for Christmas!



Persimmon has been used for centuries in Asia as a beauty ingredient for the skin. That perfectly and almost translucent skin I admire from Chinese and Asians comes not only from avoiding the sun (always!) but also from the beauty routines.


During winter season the skin feels tired, dull, dehydrated from excessive heating or simply from poor diet.
But we have the persimmon fruit which can also be used FOR YOUR SKIN , the properties for the skin are:
Brightening!
Pore reducing!
Tightening!
Nourishing!
Refreshing!
Hydrating!
Calming!
Japanese geisha's knew about all these remarkable qualities of this fruit and used it for many different cosmetic purposes!


I have created this nourishing and super brightening face mask prepared with  ingredients we find in the kitchen. However, alternatives depend on your ingredients supply and skin needs.

Half persimmon
1 teaspoon of rosemary honey
1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil
1 espresso cup(or 1 full tablespoon) of Rolled oats
Optional: Carrot seed Essential oil  --->Optional use , perfect for Dry skin. Adding this essential oil to the mask is the luxury for the skin that is dry, prone to eczema.




1) Use a hand blender to blend the persimmon with the oats oil and honey until it goes smooth.

 2)  Adding Carrot Seed Essential Oil: 1 drop

Carrot seed oil is rich in antioxidants, which help to prevent and even repair skin damage from sun, smoke, poor nutrition or a harsh environment. Its nutrients include beta carotene, Vitamins A and E and provitamin A. Carrot seed oil nourishes dry or aging skin, and can even reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

 I recommend adding the essential oil after blending and directly on the jar or pot (I used a LUSH tin) where you are going to keep the mask. Because essential oils can only be used in very small quantities we don´t want to waste it between the blades of the blender and mask leftovers.

I am fascinated by pure essential oils, and knowing the chemical composition of each one of them is very important to understand how and when to use it. If you want to know more about carrot oil go to this site:
http://www.carrotmuseum.co.uk/carrotoil.html



KEEP THE FRESH MASK INSIDE THE FRIDGE, AND USE IT WITHIN 5 DAYS- 1 WEEK!



Saturday, 22 November 2014

Kakis, Persimmon or Sharon fruit... what do I do with this fruit?


Dehydrating Persimmon

This Fruit! Let´s start by saying that after a visit to the biggest Organic Fair in Spain (Biocultura) I have fallen in love with this fruit, even more... Why? Because I saw  my Final Dissertation from Uni "Dehydrated Persimmon fruit (var. Rojo Brillante(Bright Red)) by hot air" in full display.




So, what did I actually see in Biocultura Madrid 2014? Well, a stand of Dehydrated Fruits from Valencia, my hometown. Valencia is the main Spanish producer of the best variety Bright Red selected by its firm texture and no astringency. And to my surprise, I saw the organic persimmon fruit nicely sliced and dehydrated.Yay!!

The Hard Variety


The hard variety is delicious, easy to eat and peel. All kakis are an excellent source of fibre and vitamin A.
But many consumers are lazy and cannot be bothered about trying out a seasonal fruit like this, as it is very unknown or unpopular (the soft one). So industries are even interested in buying or doing something amazing with this fruit. The result is tons of wasted Persimmon every year because the production is too big but demand too low. :-(  What a pity!!!!

Kakis : Soft(left) and Firm(right)


The owners of this small company from Valencia, called Deshidratados Rexi , gave me bad news... Spain does not care at all. They export most of the dehydrated fruits and Persimmon to other countries like Japan.


Would you eat this super sweet and beautiful dehydrated slice of Persimmon fruit? Cause, let me tell you that it is delicious! I had too many of them during 9 months of lab experiments.

 

Apart from dehydrated slices there are many other ways of eating it, like:


- Oven Baked with cinnamon
- PersimmonTart

What about the soft variety?

I mentioned earlier that the soft persimmon is unpopular due to its watery, fibrous and soft meat. And it is a bit messy to eat as well. Not on the go!
 
 

What can you do with this soft variety apart from eating it directly? Spread it over your toast like the best healthy jam or add it to your Greek yogurt. Mmmmm!! Yummy!!

Photo from http://www.Boisdejasmin.com
 












 As it is a very very popular fruit in China and Japan , there are lots of interesting Chinese traditional recipes like these Persimmon Cakes!
Recipes: Go to http://www.travelchinaguide.com/tour/food/chinese-cooking/persimmon-cake.htm  for this super easy recipe:
  
travel china guide.com


And if you want more recipes I invite you to check out Pinterest :  http://www.pinterest.com/recipes/persimmons/


So , go get those delicious Kakis before the season ends!! ( January).

(Following this post , my next one will be surprisingly nutritious for your skin too..)






Thursday, 9 October 2014

Olive Oil: Which one to buy? / Aceite de Oliva ¿Cómo elegir?

 Have you ever tasted different types of qualities of Olive Oils?

This is what you would like to know about Olive Oil before you buy:


1. Just because it says on the label Olive Oil, doesn´t mean is gold---> Unless is Extra Virgin with D.O

2. Just because the colour is darker doesn´t mean it is better---> Colour depends on type/ripeness of olive. Greener olives=greener oil

3. Just because it reads on the label " Italy" doesn´t mean is the best oil in the world.--> Any Extra virgin olive oil with D.O will have excellent quality. (Italy is the biggest consumer of olive oil in the world, but half of the olive oil from Italy is Spanish. They label it in Italy as E.U Olive Oil without mentioning country of origin. All of this is legal , by the way)

4- Packaging. A good olive oil needs to be in tin or opaque bottle. Transparent bottles and plastic (PET) ones are the worst options. Olive Oil is very delicate and all its properties are lost if it is exposed to light.

SOurce: COnsejeria de Turismo de Andalucia. http://www.andalucia.org

There is a difference between :

Olive Oil
& 
(Extra) Virgin Olive Oil

Extra Virgin Olive Oils are classified like this because they have the highest quality:Why ? Because they...
1- Have been extracted with a Cold pressed method. No heat above 35C has been used to extract them, which means that the properties are kept to its highest level.
2- Have been scrutinized by a tasting panel : They check all desirable organoleptic properties such as flavor, aroma, taste, aftertaste...
3- The acidity has been measured in the laboratory (this can´t be perceived by the tasting panel):
maximum =0,5% 

Virgin Olive Oil is not sold in the supermarket, as it cannot be legally bottled for direct consumption.

Olive Oil is then a refined deodorized and transparent oil after heating and chemical extraction to which a drizzle of Virgin Olive Oil is added, just to give it some colour ;) 
This is similar to seed oils. 
 
SOURCE:gauchogourmet

Olive Oil tasting is as important in the industry as Wine Tasting and if you ever have the opportunity to experience it, you will be surprised!


-------------


¿Sabes reconocer el sabor de distintos aceites de oliva?

Cada aceite, como cada vino, tiene un sabor que lo hace más apropiado para unos platos u otros.

Esta es una experiencia que hasta los niños (al contrario que el vino) pueden disfrutar e incluso son más hábiles para reconocer sabores muy característicos a tomate o manzana.


Aceite Casas de Hualdo:Mejor almazara de España 2012. Cata variedad Arbequina






























  http://www.casasdehualdo.com

Además del sabor, a la hora de comprar un aceite de oliva es mejor hacerlo con un poco de conocimiento, sobre todo si nos importa el beneficio tanto en el paladar como en la salud.

¿Vale cualquier aceite de oliva? NO! ¿Por qué? Porque...

1- Solo porque ponga en el etiquetado aceite de oliva no significa que sea oro-->  Busca Extra Virgen con D.O  y verás la diferencia. Más abajo te lo explico.

2-El color del aceite no indica calidad, simplemente color de la aceituna y madurez.

3- Simplemente por que ponga aceite de oliva de Italia no significa que sea el mejor del mundo. Hay muchisimos aceites en el mundo de excelente calidad(Africa, por ejemplo)  Más de la mitad del consumo de aceite de oliva en Italia es de origen español, allí solo se envasa y se indica aceite de la U.E. (Todo esto es legal, ojo!)

4- El exterior importa: Envasado en Vidrio, Lata, o plástico. El mejor? lata, por que el aceite es sensible a la luz y en seguida enrancia. Hay que protegerlo de luz y calor. Vidrio oscuro siempre mejor que vidrio claro o plástico PET..
Best marketing ever! Monakrivo Olive Oil bottles

Una diferencia muy importante:

Aceite de Oliva 
&
Aceite de Oliva Virgen (Extra)

Aceite de Oliva Extra Virgen:
Se extraen por presión mecánica y en frio. Nunca se debe superar los 35 C .
Valorados en las catas al más alto nivel
Tienen una acidez máxima de =0,5% ---> Esto no se detecta al paladar, es por analisis de laboratorio.

Aceite de Oliva Virgen:
No se venden al público. Tienen una acidez maxima de 1% y se utilizan para mezclarlo con Aceite de Oliva.

Aceite de Oliva:
Aceite refinado con disolventes, calor. etc , sin olor, sabor, ni color. Se le añade un chorro de aceite de oliva virgen extra o virgen para darle color y un poco de sabor.

source: http://www.olibe.es




Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Curiosities about food with this MiniQuiz !


It´s September. Back to School, let´s learn something today!

So, here it comes, without further ado I introduce you to the fascinating world of misconceptions, truths, lies and myths about food.

Test your brain! And as the book says: Whatever you think, think the opposite (Paul Arden)


1.Vitamin D is a very important fat soluble vitamin essential for bones and immune system, which of these foods is the biggest source of vitamin D, per serving?

A) a glass of milk
B) 75g of salmon fillet
C) Handful of mushrooms,  sun exposed.

2.What is not considered a berry?

A) Strawberries
B) Bananas
C) Blueberries

3. Which foods gives you the highest glycemic index? (Glycemic index offers information about how foods affect blood sugar and insulin)
A) Ice cream
B) White bread
C) Spaghetti
SCROLL DOWN FOR ANSWERS


 







Answer:1. Handful of mushrooms : Sounds crazy, right? Well it was discovered by a mycologist that mushrooms have the incredible property of producing vit.D2 (precursor of vitD3) to enormous doses when they were simply exposed to the sun for some hours. So either exposing them to the sunlight or sun dried mushrooms will give you a very good dose.
The second biggest source is salmon fillet and the third a glass of milk (fortified)

Want to know more? Increasing VitD levels on mushrooms: http://www.fungi.com/blog/items/place-mushrooms-in-sunlight-to-get-your-vitamin-d.html


Answer: 2. Strawberry! Sounds crazy. but the botanical definition of a berry is is a simple fruit having seeds and pulp produced from a single ovary. Strawberries originate from other external tissue, They are enlarged ends of the plant's stamen. It is the small black spots which are actually the fruit!
And  , yes Bananas are actually berries, for the botanical definition itself. Blueberries are also berries.

Want to know more? Strawberry flowerhttp://www.backyardnature.net/fl_straw.htm 

Answer 3.  White bread. Yes, the traditional white baguette you consume has got an index of 95. Second on the list is Spaghetti and  Ice cream the lowest of all with 57. Fat content of ice cream considerably reduces the glycemic load. 

 Want to know more?Glycemic index chart: http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsweek/Glycemic_index_and_glycemic_load_for_100_foods.htm

 

Saturday, 14 June 2014

How natural is Stevia? Things you should know! // ¿Que tiene de natural la Stevia??

 Leelo En español más abajo!!

 

A few weeks ago the EFSA (European Food Safety Agency) released the news that a new artificial sweetener had been approved: Advantame.Who is this new boy? The younger brother of Aspartame. A derivative of it. Well, according to the Scientific panel on Food Additives, it is safe (in terms of carcinogenic or genotoxic effects). But, it seems that is not very stable in acidic beverages and heated foods. Yet it will soon be introduced under another E-number in manufactured foods.


Sugar is truly addictive, we know it and we are worried about it!


3 Types of consumers:
A- Consumers worried about their health, wanting natural foods
B- Consumers worried about their belly growing, wanting anything to cut down on sugars
C- Consumers not worried at all!

Are you a Type A,  B or C consumer?


- Artificial sweeteners will be used  as long as they are approved and easy to introduce in food formulas
- "Natural" sweeteners are the new trend, much more expensive for the consumer and sold as safe and health friendly. Stevia is the new kid on the block.

STEVIA, the Real Story

Stevia is a plant from South America whose extract is 200 times sweeter than sugar but does not raise blood insulin levels.

The plant leaf has been traditionally used in Paraguay and Brazil for medical purpose. And it has been sold in Japan for 40 years.

But in 1991, the FDA (Food and Drug Federation, from United States) did not want to approve it because of pressure from other  famous artificial sweetener producers. BUT! later on in 2008, the use of stevia compounds were approved  as Coca Cola and Pepsi extracted them. So, not until a huge food company was involved did the stevia become legal. But the highly processed method used to produce the famous Truvia (brand of Coca Cola's stevia) is nothing but artificial. In 2011 stevia was approved in Europe.
Obviously, marketing makes it look like the process is simple and natural:
Source: Cargill

 

So, don't think that the extraction of Stevia is like cold pressed extra virgin olive oil. Further from the truth, the extraction is done by using many chemicals, and now there are more than 40 steps of extraction. Check the patent here> Coca Cola Patent of Stevia

Also, when checking the ingredients list of the Truvia Stevia, there is another ingredient called Erythritol , that is not great either. It is a natural sugar but  manufacturers don't directly use the natural stuff, they extract it from maize (genetically modified) that is fermented in another long complicated process to get erythritol. Erythritol is found in most manufactured stevia.
So, the positive thing about sweeteners like this is that it will control sugar intake and in a way it could be beneficial in a weight management plan.
However, as  Dr Robert Lustig, author of Fat Chance: The Bitter Truth About Sugar says: What we don't know are the long-term effects of sweeteners like stevia, such as whether these compounds affect hormones that alter brain function.
It is true that we are fooling our brain into thinking that there is a sugar influx and then it releases insulin, which is counterproductive for weight loss.

What do we have left? Your own judgement. Control sugar intake. That's the only safe way. We all understand that from time to time  the espresso coffee needs a bit of sweetness and a teaspoon of sugar is ok if you have a healthy diet.

But if you are sure you won´t get rid of sugar cane, forget stevia and try these delicious real natural alternatives:

Maple Syrup: Almost like a caramel consistency but the delicate flavor is exquisite.  Canadians know it well. And almost all worldwide consumption of maple syrup comes from Midwest North America and Canada. Best one from Vertmont.




Pure Raw Honey: Honey straight from the hive. It is not pasteurized , but only slightly warmed to avoid crystallization.This can only be found in the local honey farms. Stopping by a lovely rural town in the middle of nowhere selling its own honey  is warranty of getting the real Raw Honey



Muscovado or molasses Sugar: A yummy dark brown and moist sugar that has a strong molasses flavor. And it keeps most of the minerals of the natural cane before processing.

Muscovado sugar (Top)Wikipedia


But above all, get used to the natural sweetness of foods.


------


¿Conoces el advantame? Es un nuevo edulcorante que se ha aprobado en Europa para su uso alimentario. Pero es artificial. Hace un par de semanas la EFSA (Agencia europea de seguridad alimentaria) dio el visto bueno a este hermano del conocido Aspartamo.Según el panel científico de aditivos no presenta riesgos para la salud(causa-efecto, o efecto inmediato claro) y pronto será introducido por la industria alimentaria a través de otro número E.

Realmente el azúcar es adictivo, nos encanta y a la vez nos preocupa cada vez más su consumo.. Así que entre ciclamatos, sacarinas y aspartamos también aparecen la Stevia.

En mi experiencia, he podido ver que tenemos 3 tipos de consumidores:
A. Consumidor que se preocupa por su salud y cuerpo,  busca alternativas sanas, eco y naturales
B. Consumidor que se preocupa por su cuerpo y esa barriga que va creciendo y busca cualquier substituto de grasas y azúcares.
C. Consumidor que le da igual y come lo  que sea en la cantidad que sea.

Que tipo de consumidor eres?

Para la industria  hay 2 claros objetivos que crecen como la espuma (A y B) por eso tenemos 2 tipos de edulcorantes :

Los artificiales, que están sintetizados químicamente en laboratorio 
Los naturales de alguna fuente natural como la planta stevia rebaudiana o la miel de abeja.

¿Quieres saber más de la Stevia?

Stevia, La Verdadera Historia

La stevia es una planta Sudamericana que tiene un poder endulzante hasta 300 veces superior al azúcar tradicional, pero no provoca picos de insulina en sangre. La hoja de la planta se utilizó tradicionalmente con uso medicinal en Paraguay y México y se lleva vendiendo en Japón durante 40 años.

Pero en 1991, la FDA (Food and Drug Administration de Estados Unidos) no quiso aprobarlo por la presión que existia de otros grandes productores de edulcorantes artificiales(como Splenda, Sweet n Low, Equal). Hasta el 2008 no sé consiguió legalizar la stevia en Estados Unidos. ¿Por qué? Porque los compuestos de la estevia estaban desarrollandose a través de las mega compañias Coca Cola y Pepsi. Estas empresas ejercen un enorme poder.
En Europa la stevia se aprobó en el 2011.
La marca más conocida de Stevia es Truvía. Pero como es de esperar de una gran industria, el procesado es largo y actualmente hay más de 40 pasos para la obtención "natural" de los rebaunosidos  de la stevia.

No pienses que la extracción de la stevia comercial es tan natural como la extracción en frio de aceite de oliva virgen. Todo lo contrario. En el proceso hay multitud de componentes para crear un polvo cristalizado con aspecto de azúcar. El consumo tradicional de la planta de estevia original está muy lejos de esto.

Los consumidores cada vez saben más y Cargill fue denunciada por su publicidad engañosa, alegando que la stevia era natural:

¿Resultado? En las noticias:

Cargill llega a acuerdo en denuncia por publicidad engañosa de Truvia como edulcorante natural

 http://www.clubdarwin.net/seccion/negocios/cargill-llega-acuerdo-en-denuncia-por-publicidad-enganosa-de-truvia-como-edulcorant

 En los ingredientes de la stevia  también nos encontramos con: Eritritol, otro compuesto endulzante de origen natural pero superprocesado por la industria a partir del maiz (geneticamente modificado).



Esta es la verdadera Stevia rebaudiana secada y molida lista para consumir, manteniendo todas sus cualidades y beneficios para la salud,  como tradicionalmente se ha hecho :con una pizca en un té o  mascando la hoja como los guaranies!






La Stevia que compras NO es natural. Tiene su límite de ingesta diaria incluso10 veces más reducida que en el aspartamo.

Stevia:  4 mg/Kg de peso y día

Aspartamo:40 mg/kg de peso y día.


 Es solo un tipo más de edulcorante que la industria alimentaria aprovecha para introducir en el mercado por que es más lista que nadie y sabe que hay consumidores enganchados a la palabra natural .

¿Que nos queda entonces? Tu propio juicio. Controla el consumo de azúcar de cualquier tipo (Quieres saber donde se esconde? Te animo a que leas mi artículo sobre los cereales y el azúcar: http://www.nutriteca.blogspot.com.es/2013/04/breakfast-cerealsgood-or-not.html )

Una cucharilla de azúcar en un café es comprensible, siempre y cuando tu alimentación  no esté saturada de azúcares escondidos.

Pero si estás seguro de que no puedes dejar el azúcar, olvídate de stevia y opta por estas alternativas deliciosas y de verdad naturales:
 
Miel de abeja pura: La del pueblo de toda la vida. Fresca directa del apicultor. Y si está algo sólida mejor.

mierarlanza.com



















Sirope de Arce: el auténtico de grado C, muy  rico en minerales. No confundir con sirope de savia! 

 Azúcar integral, Melaza y Panela: Todos son mínimamente procesados del azúcar de caña y contienen además minerales como magnesio y vitaminas. El azúcar blanco no tiene nada de esto.



Panela




 Moraleja:  Controla el consumo de azúcar. Toma poco pero bueno. Y acostúmbrate al sabor dulce natural de muchos alimentos.

Monday, 5 May 2014

What is Gluten (for)? Seitan, the veggie meat


Quite recently I saw a cooking show where the chef mentioned an interesting ingredient while making bread: GLUTEN


Gluten free aisle in the supermarkets has become a trend nowadays for unfortunate reasons. One of it being the cause of coeliac disease and gluten intolerance becoming "popular"

It is quite alarming how more and more people claim to have some kind of intolerance to gluten...  I won´t go into details about the reasons why this is happening but let´s just say that it is a combination of genetically predisposed people who suffer from autoimmune reaction to gluten and other conditions that triggers the symptoms, such as early childhood exposure to wheat or even psychological stress.

So , what is gluten? 

It is a protein present in cereals such is wheat, barley, rye and spelt and to certain extent oats (because they tend to be processed in a non gluten free environment). 
This protein has especial properties for the food industry and when it was discovered the technologists started to experiment with it because it is a very versatile protein. It is elastic and very malleable so can be mixed with other ingredients to create new products.
That is why, now a days gluten is so commonly present in foods. We eat gluten in the majority of processed cereals , pastas, cakes, pastries, soups, prepared sauces and breads.

What is seitan?

The best example of what is a gluten derivate food, tend to be  very popular among vegetarians:

Seitan


Have you heard of vegetarian meat? So this is it, really. The food industry  extracts gluten from wheat and sells it in a similar way to tofu. It does not look very appealing to be honest, but if cooked and seasoned in the right way it does the trick.
http://www.eatingrules.com















The texture is meaty and tender and the color reminds you to roast chicken.

http://www.npr.org 















 Traditional recipes from Vietnam and China make their own seitan at home, in a similar fashion to tofu.
 
So, if you are vegetarian eat seitan, as it is an excellent source of protein (As much as beef meat) and vitamin B complex, but if you are vegetarian and have gluten intolerance don´t even try it!!




Monday, 3 March 2014

That white liquid, milk and its alternatives/Ese líquido blanco, la leche y otras alternativas

 

Leelo en español más abajo

Cow´s milk is that drink we have so deeply ingrained in our occidental culture that it seems almost impossible for many to find a substitute for our daily cup of tea or coffee.


The truth is, milk consumption is perfectly dispensable in healthy adults because a good source of calcium can be found in many other foods. Let´s not forget that is not just the calcium intake what makes our bones assimilate it, but the delicate balance between other minerals such as Magnesium, and Vitamin D. Of course, exercising (lifting weights) is key to build up strong bones.
It has been reported in several studies of Public Health that higher dairy intake typically found in North America or UK is linked to higher risk of osteoporosis so it is always interesting to find alternatives to this drink.
We know that the dairy industry is huge and extremely powerful in many sectors of the scientific community. It is often discovered that certain so called impartial news research praising the benefits of drinking milk is later linked to investments or interests from the research team. That is why I say, don´t buy anything you read about any food claiming to have almost magical properties for human health. Take it with a pinch of salt.

This is why, in wake of massive dairy campaigns to drink more milk than ever I suggest you to find the balance alternating milk with other drinks that are very healthy and much more easily digested for delicate stomachs or lactose intolerants.

Let´s see what other white milky drinks we can choose:

1. Soya milk
 This is the most common alternative to cow´s milk. And now many dairy industries have started a new line of production for Soya milk, cause they know profit and business is there.
The problem with the actual soya milk is that it often contains other ingredients other than water and soya hull. Read the label and see: Fructose, emulsifier, stabiliser...  And the real flavor leaves a lot to be desired from the original soya milk traditionally made at home (in Asia is very common the homemade soy milk).
The price of the average brand with all those added ingredients is still a bit pricey though. So imagine the real or so called organic Soya Milk from Wholefoods, etc...

Soy milk is not a bad option but the biggest obstacle I find with it is that it CURDLES in acidic or very hot liquids, such as coffee and tea.


My Favorite Options

The healthier alternatives to soya milk are rice milk (rice drink), almond milk, oats milk, coconut milk.

2- Coconut Milk

A year ago when I was living in London I got into the habit of  drinking coconut milk from this brand called Kara and I must say it was a truly delicious flavor. I didn't pay much more than the average Soya milk and it was perfect for cereals and coffee. And it has a very interesting nutritional profile. Even though is higher in fats, the saturated fats are medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA) that are not negative for cholesterol and 50% of the fatty acids in coconut are made up of lauric acid – an antiviral and antibacterial fatty acid that is also present in human breast milk.





3.Almond and Oats Milk

Both are extremely easy to make at home and they are definitely worth trying it.

Almond milk:  We all know how good almond is for cardiovascular health and alternative calcium intake.

It is actually pretty expensive and being on a budget means I either spend 10 minutes making it at home or in no way I am going to spend twice as much as the soya milk or cow´s milk. It is almost considered luxury drink due to the fact that is made of almonds, one the most expensive  nuts in the market.
How to make it? Super easy!!!

Ingredients for 1L : 40 almonds (raw) + 1 L water, stevia or honey to sweeten it(optional)

Gadgets: Food processor or  a good blender and a colander or a museline.

Just blend the almonds with the water until you see a white milky drink.  Then strain it and keep it in the fridge for 3 days maximum.  And don´t throw away the almond pulp!!

Here I made 500mL with 2 glasses of water and a handful of raw almonds:



 Make a red pepper dip with the leftover pulp from the almond: mix it with a roasted red pepper add some salt and pepper and herbs and voilá!



Oats milk:  Another versatile and even cheaper than almond milk. Oats are sooo cheap that if you get into the habit of making it every other day I am sure you won´t go back to buying a brick.

If you want to make Oats milk is the same: 1 cup of ready oats + 1 L water




 Again, don´t throw away the leftover oats pulp!Make muffins or oat cookies. 

Now , I am no expert on bakery and cakes but this is a no-brainer recipe:2 ingredients!

Ingredients:
Oat pulp leftover
1 mashed banana 



Just mix it with a fork and bake it!

 -------

  Traducción en español:

La leche de vaca es un alimento tan profundamente arraigado en la alimentación occidental que parece casi imposible para algunos sustituirla por algo parecido en nuestro café o té. 

La realidad es que el consumo de lacteos es perfectamente prescindible en adultos ya que la fuente de calcio se puede obtener de otros muchos alimentos. Es más, está ya bien comprobado en los últimos informes de salud pública que las poblaciones de paises con mayor consumo en lácteos son las que tienen mayor riesgo de osteoporosis. Tampoco hay que olvidar la clave para buena asimilación de calcio sin necesidad de dosis diaria de leche: deporte, mínima exposición a rayos solares y dieta saludable alta en verduras y pescados.
La industria láctea tiene demasiado poder y hay muchas investigaciones científicas supuestamente imparciales a priori que se descubren más tarde financiadas por la industria, así que todo hay que mirarlo con lupa.

Es por esto que ante la gran dependencia de ese líquido blanco, están apareciendo en el mercado una gran variedad de alternativas algo más saludables...si eliges la más cara del mercado :-S


Leche de Soja
La leche de soja, es una de ellas. Pero, ¡ no te engañes! lo que crees que es leche de soja es incluso peor que un vaso de leche de vaca fresca. Simplemente lee la composición y verás que tiene demasiados ingredientes estabilizadores, azúcares, conservantes, etc. y dejan mucho que desear con la auténtica leche de soja preparada tradicionalmente en muchos hogares de China y Japón.


La leche de soja se ha extendido mucho pero el precio sigue siendo hago elevado. Un brick de 1L de marca ronda los 1,5Eur. Y si nos vamos a leche de soja de verdad, sin nada más añadido, el precio se duplica.Esto es en leche de soja bio de agricultura ecológica que se vende en secciones de dietética especial o biomercados.


Ingredientes de Soja Gerblé:
Agua, habas de soja descascarilladas (13,2%) procedente de cultivo ecológico.



Y esta otra marca BONSOY de Eroski, elegida por mi por ser de las que tienen menos añadidos y ser más económica. Además se soja tiene: azúcar, emulgente, aroma, sales de calcio y vitaminas A y D:




La leche de soja tiene un gran inconveniente: COAGULA tanto en líquidos calientes como en líquidos ácidos, como el café. 

¿Qué otras opciones hay?
En realidad las alternativas vegetales más sanas son : Leche de arroz, leche de avena, leche de almendra, Leche de coco. Todas ellas super caras!!! De todas ellas la LECHE DE ALMENDRAS y la LECHE DE AVENA, son las más fáciles de preparar en casa. Y bien baratas.
¿Que ventajas tiene la leche de almendras?
Pues todas las ventajas de la almendra: Fuente de calcio vegetal, zinc,magensio, potasio, hierro, acidos grasos cardiosaludables, fibra y por supuesto sin lactosa.

Sólo 2 minutos: No hay excusas de tiempo para no prepararla!

1 Litro de Agua + 40 almendras crudas---> Batidora de vaso-->Pasar por colador de tela y listo a la nevera. Dura 3-4 dias, como la leche pasteurizada una vez abierta. La puedes endulzar con un poco de miel.


 500mL de Leche de Almendras : 2 vasos de agua + puñado almendra cruda

Y la pasta de almendra que queda tras colarlo la utilizamos para otras delicias como un dip paté sanísimo de almendra y pimiento rojo:

TODO SE APROVECHA EN LA COCINA

La leche de avena también se hace igual de fácil aunque hay que remojar durante unas horas los copos de avena y en mi opinión el saber de la almendra es mucho más apetecible, pero es cuestión de gustos : 

Ingredientes : 1 vaso de copos de avena instantáneos + 1L agua  
Batirlo con batidora potente y colarlo.

El valor nutricional también es distinto, ya que es un cereal y no un fruto seco.

 Y  que podemos hacer con la pasta de avena tras colar? Galletas de Avena, solo añadiremos  plátano o pasas y canela y lo horneamos. 



Moraleja: Sé curioso/a y prueba alternativas. Quizás seas defensor/a de tu vaso de leche con colacao. Pero no te cierres a probar algo diferente y, sobretodo, mucho más sano. La reeducación alimentaria empieza por descubrir nuevos sabores y experimentar.



Thursday, 30 January 2014

How to make your Fruit Ripe and Sweet. The Science behind the Magical Apple


Gone are the days when we used to get our fruit perfectly sweet and ready to eat from the local market. The sweetness and fragrance of a real fruit ripened in the branch and not in the storage room... Mouth watering oranges, apricots, kiwis, pears, melons...

But, has any of you thought of why some fruits get miraculously sweeter and softer in the fruit basket but others simply don´t? This strange phenomenon when suddenly the green, hard and tasteless pear gets perfectly ripe to eat is pure chemistry. And the food industry and fruit cooperatives know about it so they also take advantage of it to do what they really want. That is: to sell the fruit to the supermarkets that will be able to store it inside rooms for sometime without getting them all to waste due to excessive ripening.


Then , lets start with your mum´s or grandma´s best tip: "An apple in your fruit basket will make your fruit sweet". (But don´t ask her why that happens...)

There are 2 types of fruits to consider according to ripening process:

 ClimactericEthylene release= fruit gets sweet, color deepens, texture softens even after harvested from the tree

Non climacteric= No Ethylene release= fruit does not get sweeter after harvesting


This is the most basic concept to help you understand it. But other factors influence it too,like temperature, natural inhibitors on each variety, etc.

Here I leave you with a classification  of the most common fruits we eat that fall into each category.






 



1. Climacteric Fruit: Apple , Avocado, Apricot, Banana, Kiwis, Melon, Mango, Pear, Peach, Tomato



2. Non climacteric fruits: orange, lemon, mandarin,pineapple, grapes, strawberry, cherry

* And here is the simple but effective trick of the apple in the fruit basket: Apples release ethylene because they are climacteric. And when they are in contact with other climacteric fruits that are still green, the gas affects them too. So it induces ripening of the other fruits such as pears, bananas or kiwis.
You can use the bananas too, however they are less likely to stay forever in the kitchen as they get soft too fast.
Best thing to make ripening process even faster is cover the fruit bowl with a bag or put all fruits and the apple inside a paper bag:


And talking about tricks. Oranges and citrus that are harvested pretty green are treated by the industry with Ethylene! The oranges won´t get sweeter and ripe but the color will be deep orange instead of yellow.
The ethylene will 'de-green' them and this is a strategy to increase consumer acceptability in the market.


Key: Yes, fruits and vegetables can still ripe after they have been harvested. Take advantage of Nature´s wisdom and don´t eat your fruit green.